We are not woken up by the heavy breathing of an elephant this morning, but by the rather stark “hello” from our guide. This also meant that walking on the pathways was safe again, which is also nice.
We chose to do a boat tour this morning after our breakfast, and it turned out to be a great decision! With elephants munching on the grass around virtually every corner, and lots of other animals showing themselves or basking in the morning sun, it was a wonderful boat tour. Unfortunately, it was cut short as our flight back to Maun was at 11:50, so we arrived back at the lodge at 10. This left us plenty of time to have a really early lunch and grab all our stuff to get on the plane. The people at Moremi Crossing have been really nice to us, and the place itself is ultimately serene while the scenery is stunningly gorgeous. If you ever find yourself in the vicinity, please visit the Okavango Delta: preferably from a camp almost inside the National Park. It will not disappoint you!
Our pilot today was Mitch, and the flight back rather uneventful. Only a short 20 minutes later we were at the Arivals/Departures hall in Maun, and after a quick call to the place where our car is parked we got picked up and brought back to the Duster.
We spent the rest of the day relaxing and fixing our front tyre as it has a slow puncture. This was skilfully mended by a guy from Tyre World for the hefty sum of 30 pula, which is about €2,75. Yeah!
Tomorrow, we’ll start our two legged journey to Windhoek with a long drive back to Namibia. With fixed tyres and enough air in them, we feel confident everything will go swimmingly. 😉
Today is our full day in the safari camp, which means we get fed and entertained at predetermined times. Our wake up call is at 06:30, and we have breakfast at 07:00. After this we embark on our morning activity, which in our case is getting ferried to the island where we will walk the bush by mokoro. Right before breakfast though, we wandered out on the walkway in front of our safari tent, and suddenly found ourselves the animal that kept us awake at night: a massive elephant. It was a regular in the camp, but we had to take caution around it as it still is a very big and potentially dangerous animal. We stood a while watching the guy, but decided to let him have his breakfast too.
The guide was tracking lions through their spoor, but we were unable to catch up with them. As they are lions, this also meant that most animals got scared off by them, so the walk was really beautiful and peaceful, but we haven’t seen many animals. The ride on the mokoro is especially zen, as it is traditionally a hollowed out tree trunk pushed by a guy standing in the back with a push pole, nowadays the boats are fiberglass but the propulsion soupy stem is the same. Without making any sounds you glide over the shallow waters through the hippo grass. A very nice way to start your day!
After the walk, we have an early lunch at 11:30, after which the siesta commences. We spent it basking in the sun and generally doing nothing instil the next (light) meal. This is at 15:30, when the high tea is served in anticipation of the afternoon activity.
For us it was another boat ride, on which we have seen a lot of animals! Elephants, hippos, Tsessebe, Red Lechwe, and many others. There was one downside to this whole ordeal though: the unseasonal presence of mosquitos. And a lot of them. They usually are only there around December, but they happen to be in the delta right now. Nobody knew why, and everybody thought is was odd, but we are kind of stuck with them. And yes, they do bite you!
Tomorrow we already fly back to Maun, but first: more food!
Wow, what a night was that. Cold, a little damp, completely silent and we were literally star struck by the vast twinkling expanse over our sleeping bag. The moon showed up late in the night, which gave us enough time to gaze at the Milky Way and the southern stars and constellations.
Waking up was a little tough though, as there is no shower and the sleeping bag is a much more comfortable temperature than the outside. The way back on the quad bikes was as awesome as the way in, but before we knew it we were back at Planet Baobab and our slowly leaking left front tire. Luckily, our new found friends and accidental travelling companions Tim & Rosaline have a compressor and pressure gauge, so that issue was quickly and temporarily resolved. Mending the tire will have to wait for a large town, and that just so happens to be where we are headed next.
Maun is the destination, and a mere 240km and half a diesel tank away. The fuel gauge on our Duster has a very spotty performance, and we’ve come to distrust whatever it tells us. It has been more empty than reported, but also more full than reported. So, without knowing how much diesel was left, we went our merry way and hoped for the best. The unfortunate thing was that the nearest filling station was in Nata, 90 kilometers in the opposite direction of where we were heading. The other one was in Maun. We managed though, and had plenty of diesel left when we reached our destination.
We’ll fly to a camp on a private concession next to the Okavango Delta National Park from Maun, so we are looking forward to getting spoiled!